The Longest Two Minutes

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

People have known for a long time that time is relative. It’s where sayings like, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” come from. Twice a day, time slows to a crawl. It stretches interminably out so that you can experience all the agony of three lifetimes in just two minutes. I’m talking, of course, about brushing your teeth.

Everyone knows that we’re supposed to brush our teeth for two minutes when we brush. I’m not a dentist, so I don’t know why two minutes is the magic number, but it’s what dentists say. They even make toothbrushes with built in alarms to tell you when it’s been two minutes. And there are phone apps to time two minutes. Some of them even give you a prize for consistently meeting the two minute time. I know the benefits of good oral hygiene, so I try to manage two minutes twice a day, but man, oh man, is it hard.

I can’t figure out why it’s so hard. For most people, brushing your teeth isn’t a physical struggle. And for most people, it’s not painful. It’s one of the more innocuous things we do every day. But it takes forever. I have one of the toothbrushes that beeps after two minutes. Yet, I check my watch three or four times while I’m brushing, convinced that the timer is broken. I stand over the sink for hours, but two minutes hasn’t gone by yet. It’s maddening that 112% of my day is eaten up in four minutes.

Sadly, I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it. It’s 2020 now. We’re officially living in the future. But there don’t seem to be any advances in tooth brushing on the horizon. So I’ll keep wasting hours for two minutes every morning and evening. I wanted to get this out there because I can’t be the only one. If enough of us speak out, I’ll bet there’s some dentist out there that can invent a method that works in under thirty seconds. That would be acceptable.

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